Imagine a chance to peek inside the salon operations of the top salon owners and nail technicians in the country. You can look at their promotional materials, client tracking systems, and employee management procedures, hear what their clients and community neighbors say about them see inside their salons, and ask why they designed them the way they did. Imagine being able to read a personal essay on career highlights of someone who’s been successful in nails for 25 years!

That’s what judging the Salon of the Year Awards is like.

Besides requiring an enormous amount of time, a heck of a lot of reading and sorting and looking -- narrowing down the entries to 12 finalists is the single hardest thing we do—judging the Salon of the Year Awards is a crash course on what the professional nail industry is all about, and why some salons have to turn away clients while others are closing their doors. We (the NAILS editorial staff and out judges) learn things during the judging process that help us to better plan our magazine, develop new resources, and share ideas with vendors on how they can better service the salon population. We see where we’re doing a good job on keeping nail professionals informed and where we’re woefully lacking. We see things that inspire us, break out hearts, and move us to tears. And admittedly, we see things that make us laugh and shake our heads.

The point of the whole exercise, of course, is not that we learn so much, as that we honor You and help You learn. You’ll enjoy the profiles and photos of this year’s awards that start on page 53 in this issue. Thank you to all who participated, entered, won, cheered, or simply took home a new idea.

And, thank you to Larry Gaynor and The Nailco Group. Their sponsorship of our awards (now in its fourth year) has made it possible for us to grow the program into an industry event of which we’re enormously proud.


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